Oooh I am in heaven. After six weeks of topsy turvy, my-life-is-not-my-own land, I am house sitting in an elegant, yet cosy, abode in a small town in Central California. Every road out of town passes through green fields and is mercifully flat and smooth, perfect for leisurely cycling (all my preferred forms of exercising are at a leisurely pace). Each day is crisp and clear, none of this dreary drizzle shit. There is a blazing fire to enjoy, a TV that you could watch from half a mile away, a glass of wine…with the promise of seconds, and thirds. I even have a charming cat for company, that does not shed or meow, or scratch, or defecate in places it shouldn’t. Oh… and did I mention there’s a hot tub? And, with the exception of the quiet, gentlemanly cat, I have all of this to myself. This peace, this oasis of tranquility, is mine – allllllllll mine – for a week.
I’m so happy.
I’m so happy, that there is no political diatribe in this post. I just don’t have the heart for it today. Relieved? Me too! Fear and dread and anger – they are exhausting.
Now, I am supposed to be working this week, and working very hard. I have about a month’s worth of work to fit into six days. However, I feel there is much that can be achieved from the confines of a jacuzzi. Work should be fun, otherwise how can you possibly be expected to spend a third of your adult life doing it? (Admittedly I am not spending a third of my adult life working, but I hear it’s popular with some folks.)
I love Christmas, but I love the relaxed version of Christmas, where you drink mulled wine for two weeks straight (I am on the ball with this one, I started Sunday night Mulled Wine Weekend Wind Down, way back in October), and fritter away an afternoon making mince pies, devote a morning to putting up lights, and a single evening (with more wine and a bonus box of chocolates) to decorating the tree. Then on Christmas Eve you wrap presents in front of a muted TV, with festive pop songs on the radio, whilst everyone else is at church. It’s lush.
What I don’t enjoy is the rushed version where drawn faces with grey holes for eyes declare, “Shit, I haven’t got anything done yet,” before burying themselves back in work again. Shopping turns into the Hunger Games with Monster High Dolls and LEGO for weapons. “Yeah, yeah, I see you over there Mr J Crew dad, don’t think you’re getting the last Assassin’s Creed – I’m surprisingly speedy over short distances.” That’s true actually, it comes from a lifetime of running away. Cowardice makes for great cardio.
The point to this is that I am enjoying my pre-Christmas week. The nearby towns are large enough to have a plethora of stores for shopping, but small enough to not have to worry about stampedes. The decorations are already up so everything feels extremely merry, there’s even a plate of Hershey’s candy cane Kisses giving me a sassy little come hither look.
I did put up lights last week at the house where I actually live. By day it looks innocuous enough, you can see there’s a nice trim around the house, albeit ever so slightly droopy in the places I couldn’t reach. To be fair I did not have a tall enough ladder. I had a folding table, a wobbly step ladder, and a prayer to the gods of people-who-know-the-things-they-do-are-foolish-and-dangerous-yet-they-do-them-anyway. I was also armed with a hammer and a mouthful of nails.
By night, it is a retina burning display of garishness that would make Clark Griswald proud.